Today is my twenty-fifth birthday, it’s a beautiful June evening and all the things I have worked for since graduating from high school are finally coming together. I grew up and currently live in New York City or as I like to refer to it, the capital of the world.
I have a degree in business and finance from Columbia University and received my real estate license the summer after I graduated. I come from an affluent family and I am sure this made the transition easier. My father is banking executive and my mother is a professor of history at Columbia, both are the children of Greek immigrants.
My Name is Ambrosia; it is feminine form of the Greek word and means ‘immortal’ because this is the drink of the gods that gave them immortality. However, everyone that knows me well calls me, Amy.
My cell phone was ringing and I saw that it was my mother, “Hello mom.”
“What a surprise you answered your phone.”
“Mom how many times have I explained to you and dad that I do all my business on the phone? I know it’s hard to connect with me. “
‘Yes Amy you have told us that and we understand, I mean after all we are only your parents.”
“I hope you didn’t call just to lecture me, again?”
“No, I actually have a reason for calling. Your dad is out of town and suggested just the two of us go out to dinner for your birthday.”
“A free meal and a birthday gift, how could I refuse an offer like that mom?”
“I thought so, where would you like to go for dinner Amy?”
“For my birthday, it has to be ‘The Swan’ of course.”
“Oh yes, I remember you took us there last summer. It’s in the East Village and rather expensive too.”
“It’s my birthday and you asked, plus there is an antique jewelry shop across the street.”
“I knew this would be an expensive evening. Alright, I’ll take a cab and meet you there a 6:00.”
I arrived early and got a table for us, mom was able to walk right in and sit down. “How nice Amy, you already have a table for us. I missed my dad but dinner was really nice, mom and I don’t get out together that often anymore.
We finished dinner and lingered over a bottle of wine. I noticed the time and said, “Mom lets get our check, the jewelry shop closes in an hour.” Mom paid the bill and we walked across the street to the jewelry shop.
When we walked in the door mom was as impressed as I was the first time I entered the shop, this feeling comes over you. “Amy, there is some really beautiful pieces of antique jewelry here.”
“Good evening ladies I am Mr. Soto, are you looking for anything special?”
“It’s my daughter Amy’s birthday so we are looking for a present.”
“Oh how nice, I hope you have a very happy birthday.”
“Thank you, I really haven’t thought about exactly what I want.”
“Tell me a little about you, do you like things that are understated or obvious?
“Something pretty but not so obvious,” I responded.
“I see you have a small Greek flag pinned to your purse.”
“Yes, both of my parents are the children of Greek immigrants.”
“Excellent, I have something I am sure you will be interested in.”
“Really, what is it?”
“It is a very special piece, a silver ring that came from Athens. It was placed in my hand only two days ago.”
Mom and I were intrigued by this, “May we see it?”
“You certainly can, give me a moment.” In a few minutes Mr. Soto came out with a small velvet bag, he opened it and took out a small box. Then he opened the box took out the ring and placed it on a jewelers’ cloth lying on the counter.
“Oh mom, it’s beautiful. Is it alright if I pick it up?”
“Of course, please do.”
I picked up the ring and carefully looked at it, “Who is the woman on the side of the ring?”
“That is Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.”
Mom’s interest began to increase, “Amy may I hold it?”
“I have seen pictures of a ring like this before, who ever copied it did an excellent job.”
Mr. Soto quickly spoke up, “Pardon me, it isn’t a reproduction. It is a piece of antiquity. The gentleman who sold it to me had all the proper paperwork, which I can provide to you. He told me this ring was worn by a high priestess who worshipped the Goddess Aphrodite. It is said Aphrodite caste a spell on this ring and those of the other priestess. No man can deny the woman who wears it anything.”
“This is what I want mom, it’s beautiful and that story just closed the deal for me.”
“Amy, we haven’t heard how much it cost.”
“We must do one thing first; there may be no need to discuss a price.”
“I asked, “What do we have to do?”
“The ring can not be sized or altered in anyway, it would lose all value but more than that.”
Mom was just standing there taking it all in when I asked, “What more?”
“Misfortune would befall anyone who defiled the ring, so it must fit you perfectly. The Greek gentleman who sold the ring warned me very strongly about this.”
Mom saw the look on my face,”Amy I am a history professor, it is an ancient myth. Mr. Soto is correct about the ring losing its value. We may be getting ahead of ourselves, try it on.”
The three of us were just starring at the ring; I picked it up and put it on my finger. The ring fit like it was made for me….when I slipped it on a strange sensation came over me.
Mom looked and agreed, “It fits perfectly.” It took Mr. Soto and mom a few minutes to agree on a price.
Mr. Soto asked, “Do you want to wear it home?”
“No, you can put it back in the box, thank you.”
Mom and I took a cab to their house, “Thank you again mom and dad too.”
“I’ll thank dad for you when the time is right so he doesn’t complain too much about what I paid for the ring.”
I visited with mom for a little while and then took a cab to my condo. The ring was still in the box and I decided to wear it Friday night when I went out.
My friend Beth called me Friday afternoon and asked if I wanted to go to a new dance club that opened up recently. I am always interested in going to a new club. Beth said she would pick me up at Friday night.
The doorbell rang just as I finished getting dressed, it was Beth. “I have a cab waiting downstairs for us, are you ready?”
“Yes, let’s go.” I was wearing a black cocktail dress I bought recently for the first time and black stiletto heels. To accent the dress I wore a silver necklace and the ring my mom got for my birthday.
As we were walking toward the elevator a really cute guy walked off and was checking us out, I smiled and said, “Hi.”
He smiled and said, “Hi, is this your floor?”
“Yes, I’m Amy,” The elevator door opened and we got on.
He said, “I’m Trent.” Trent was still looking at us as the doors were about to close, he wasn’t paying attention and walked in to the wall. We laughed all the way down to the lobby.
“Trent was sure interested in you Amy.”
“This dress was worth what I paid for it.” As we were riding in the cab that strange sensation came over me again. I don’t know how to describe it; I didn’t feel like….well, like me! It was as if someone else was in my body.
A few minutes in to the ride the cab driver struck up a conversation with us, “you ladies are going to that new club uptown?” He didn’t even wait for an answer, just kept talking. “Every time I go by there it’s packed, I hope you can get in. I am Rocco by the way and you are?”
“I am Amy and this is my friend Beth.”
“Nice to meet you, we’re almost there.”
A few minutes later we stopped at the corner right near the club, Rocco told us, “Hold on I’ll get the door for you.” We got out and were standing on the sidewalk, Rocco handed us a business card, “This is my business card, the next time you need a ride Amy give me a call. I’ll get you where ever you’re going faster than other cabs. “
“My cousin owns a shoe store right off of 5th Avenue, I put the name of the store and address on the back of the card. Tell him you know me and you’ll get a big discount. You ladies have a nice night.”
Rocco got in his cab and pulled away. “That was the most interesting cab ride I ever had Beth.”
“You are right about that, he didn’t even ask us for any money.”
We were now standing outside the ‘Thunder Storm’ with at least fifty other people that wanted to get in. The club was already packed and two very large men stood in front of the door.
“We are never going to get in there Amy” It seemed very random, someone would come out and they pointed at a person then let them in.
“Yes we are and right now,” one of the bouncers was checking me out and kept smiling. He motioned for me to walk to the door, Beth and I walked right through all the people up to the front door as they stared at us.
“Hi, I’m Vincent; you ladies are looking hot tonight.
I smiled and placed my hand on Vincent’s arm and said, “Thank you; what does it take for someone to get in the club?”
He laughed and said, “They have to look like you.” Vincent opened the door and handed something to me, “This is a pass to the VIP lounge upstairs, you need anything just drop my name and it will happen.”
Beth was really excited and told me, “I don’t know what’s happening tonight but I like it, nobody can say no to you.”
Beth and I walked past a guard and up the stairs to the VIP lounge; it was like a scene from a movie. All the women were tall and beautiful, the men taller and handsome.
As soon as we sat down at the bar two guys walked over to us and one of them spoke to me, “I had to come over and tell you how great you look in that dress. “I’m Bret,” he pointed to his friend and said, “This is Evan.”
The evening just started and it was already unbelievable, certainly unusual. I was all caught up in the moment and didn’t give it a second thought until Beth said, “Nobody can say no to you.” Then I remember what the owner of the jewelry shop told us, ‘No man can deny the woman who wears the ring anything.”
It must be true, the spell caste on the ring by Aphrodite. I consider myself smart and attractive but I never got this kind of attention, what else could it be? Beth was standing at my side but Bret and Evan were both talking to me.
Evan said, “You ladies need a drink, we’ll get it.”
While the guys were ordering the drinks Beth leaned over and whispered, “Amy, can you share one of them with me?”
“I know help me out, start talking to Evan he was checking you out when they walked over.”
It was like that all night, we had three other guys buy us drinks and two offered to give us a ride home. We caught a cab about back to my apartment, Beth spent the night. Both of us had a great time and I certainly enjoyed the attention.
It was late and I really wanted to get some sleep. The ring was on my left hand; I touched the ring with my right hand to take it off and paused for a moment. As I twisted the ring slowly back and forth on my finger the sensation revealed itself, I was aroused by the power I appeared to have over men.
I took the ring off, placed it in my jewelry case and went to bed. Beth and I had a late breakfast and talked about how much fun we had last night. As I thought about it the more foolish I felt, as my mom said it is a piece of jewelry with an ancient myth and nothing else.
Monday morning came fast; I was back managing my busy life and exciting career, selling high end condos. I forgot about the ring and it became just another piece of jewelry I owned….or so I thought.
I work for a large Manhattan real estate company that employs many people. One of the guys that arrange financing for our company, Tim, went to Columbia with me and we have been good friends since then. We have gone out together and always had a great time.
I have the sense that we both would like to see each other more often, maybe even date exclusively but for one reason or another we haven’t got there yet.
I was at our company main office closing a big deal and ran in to Tim. I heard someone call my name, “Amy, I just finished your paper work and was looking for you.”
Tim always had a big smile on his face when he saw me. I said, Hi Tim” and gave him a big hug. “Are you available for lunch?”
“No, I am having a business lunch with the new vice president for financing, Alison Weldon to discuss changes in company policy. Are you available Friday night for dinner?”
“Yes, that would be great Tim.”
“Ok, I’ll call you Friday afternoon with the details.”
I had sign some paperwork over at the main office and decided to say hello to Tim after I did that. I saw him in his office, “Hi Tim, I just signed the paperwork for that condo I sold last week.”
“You’re up near the top for sales this again this quarter. I was just about to call you about tonight. Alison called me a few minutes ago; I have to work tonight and thought we could go out tomorrow.”
“That’s ok, tomorrow will work too. Does she do that a lot?’
“No, it’s a last minute deal.”
“See you Saturday Tim.”
He smiled and said, “Definitely Amy.”
As I was leaving Barb was down the hallway and waved for me to come in to her office. She worked with my father when he was a bank vice president and I have known her since I was young. Barb supervises all the clerical staff in the main office and is a very valuable resource.
“Amy, close the door and sit down for a few minutes. This conversation is about work but is personal in nature.”
“I understand, nobody knows what’s going better than you do.”
“Alison’s administrative assistant is friends with my secretary Kay. Well Kay told me something I think you should know. “
“What did she say?”
“Alison found out that Tim had a date with you and found some last minute excuse to make him work.”
“Why would she do that Barb?”
“Alison wants Tim to be her new boy toy.”
Barb’s information is always accurate but I couldn’t believe it. “Why would she do that?”
“She does it because she can. Alison is a cougar cub; she is older than Tim but not by a lot. Women have achieved a type of unethical equality. Now they have the wealth and power to entice male subordinates in to questionable relationships.”
“There is no doubt Alison can help Tim’s career or hurt it depending on her motivation. She is attractive, wealthy and powerful, that would be difficult for anyone to resist.”
We talked for a little while longer before I went home. I was sitting in the dark, listening to music and certainly upset. Tim was in a very difficult position that much I was sure. What I wasn’t sure of was what I could do about it.
Barb was right when she said Alison could be hard for Tim to resist. There is no way I could compete with her if she decided to go after him and then I realized there was a way, the ring.
I would show Alison I had power too, a kind of power she couldn’t imagine. Tim would be mine and then Alison or any other woman could never have him. A minute later, I could not believe what I was just thinking, that was something I would never do. I care about Tim very much; he has said he cares about me too. If Tim is going to fall in love with me it needs to happen because he feels that way and no other reason.
Two weeks later I donated the ring to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, the curator said it would be a great addition to their collection of Greek antiquity. Two years later Tim and I were married, true love is more powerful than anything.